Autism and Food Sensitivities

Caregivers of autistic children often report that certain foods appear to exacerbate autistic symptoms and episodes. One possible mechanism for this relationship may involve an immune hypersensitivity to certain food components. Defects in the metabolism of certain substances can trigger immune reactions and impair the healthy functioning of the central nervous system in sensitized individuals.

Children with autism may display increased permeability of the intestinal mucosal layer, allowing more peptides from foods to enter the bloodstream and trigger immune reactions that may be associated with behavioral abnormalities.1

Wheat (and other gluten-containing substances) and milk have been cited as common problem-causing foods for autistic children that may trigger neurological symptoms. A study of 36 autistic patients reported "a marked improvement" in behavioral symptoms after 8 weeks of an elimination diet designed to reduce exposure to food allergens. Elevated antibody responses, including IgG to milk proteins such as casein, were reported in the autistic children compared to a group of healthy peers.2 Since each child may react differently to the ingestion of a given food substance, as well as to related dietary interventions, developing individualized testing and treatment strategies for each child is important.

The Comprehensive Antibody Assessment requires a single blood sample to identify both immediate (IgE) and delayed (IgG) sensitivities to over 120 commonly encountered food and environmental substances. Results provide a firm foundation for designing an individualized diet plan that eliminates substances that may be provoking or exacerbating autistic symptoms.

Related Information ADD & Food Allergy


1 D'Eufemia P, Celli M, Finocchiaro R, Pacifico L, Viozzi L, Zaccagnini M, Cardi E, Giardini O. Abnormal intestinal permeability in children with autism. Acta Paediatr 1996;85(9):1076-9.

2 Lucarelli S, Frediani T, Zingoni AM, Ferruzzi F, Giardini O, Quintieri F, Barbato M, DÕEufemia P, Cardi E. Food allergy and infantile autism. Panminerva Med 1995;37(3):137-41.

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Teresa Rispoli has her Ph.D. in Nutrition, is a licensed Acupuncturist, Master Herbalist, Certified Functional Nutritionist, has a Doctorate in Naturopathy and is a clinical researcher, and Licensed Esthetician. She has been in practice for well over 27 years. It is through her clinical practice that she has gained insights into chronic health conditions. If you are suffering from unexplained symptoms that come and go you owe it to yourself to find out why. Find out today call for a Nutritional Consultation with Dr. Rispoli.

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Remember that the body can heal itself if given the proper nutrients with the right environment and lifestyle.

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